Monday, June 23, 2008


A hand-carved figurine of unknown whitish material. Elegant Chinese women have used this kind of "doll"
to indicate a place of pain or malady to physicians,
who were always men.
The woman was placed under a sheet or material, and,
then the doctor would palpatate her pulse.
The doctor was neither allowed to view, nor,
touch her skin or body.
Often, these women were fully clothed,
while the doctor did his pulse observations.
There are ample and diverse references on this object.

"Ivory or alabaster figurines of this type used to
be standard items in households of the higher classes in
China. Since strict Chinese custom forbade a woman of stat-
station to undress in the doctor's presence, or to all him
to examine her body, the sick lady of the house would use
the model to point out to the doctor the site of her mal

I have three of these lovely ladies, who guarded their owner's honor, and, modesty, but, now, welcome the rest, that they would get, seated, serenely, on a dressing table, or bathroom countertop.
Two and, one quarter inches, high, seated, cross legged,
on her tiny feet.

I had this post sitting unpublished for a while in my blog queue because it was so disturbing. I googled Chinese Medicine Dolls and noticed that this person had just cut and paste the description from another web site about the dolls, but his/her own commentary about the "lovely ladies" guarding their owner's honor and modesty was actually what was most gag-worthy. Those feet are probably so tiny because they were lovingly bound by her master.

CL post submitted by: Hillary Oxley